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Canada About To Move Ahead With HI Certification


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According to an article in the December 19th Business Buzz section of the London Free Press, Bill Mullen, owner of Bluewater Home Inspection in Sarnia, Ontario has been named to head a national program which is set to begin certifying home inspectors in Canada in 2006.

The program is a joint project involving Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation, Human Resource and Skills Development Canada, the Canadian Federal Ministry of Housing, and the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI) and is the culmination of 8 years of effort aimed at educating, assessing and certifying about 5,000 Canadian inspectors under the umbrella of CAHPI. So far, preparations have cost more than $2,000,000 (CN).

Mullen will oversee the implementation phase of the program and will direct the certification process of individual practitioners and the accreditation of educational institutions involved in training. The target is to have all practicing inspectors in Canada certified by the end of 2007.

Mullen has been an inspector for 13 years and has held positions on the boards of both the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) and its counterpart CAHPI.

For more information about this program, including a breakdown of the core skills of home inspectors and details of the actual certification process, visit the CAHPI website.

Find more discussions about this and other inspection-related topics on TIJ's Other Forums

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Hi Rich,

I could post them here, but that would deprive you folks of the chance to do a little digging and find out more about this initiative.

So, you can find everything you want to know about this program by going to the CAHPI site at http://www.cahpi.ca and then clicking on 'Inspector Codes', once you are inside the site, and then choosing both 'Occupational Standards' and 'National Accreditation and Certification Model' and then print them out.

Enjoy

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

The long document with the requirements listed is on the website at www.cahpi.ca . There is also a short, brochure version at the same site.

If you have any questions, I will try to answer them. This initiative is very detailed and complex, but I think it has possibilities for most jurisdictions in North America.

Bill Mullen

CAHPI National Certification Program

Project Coordinator

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Bill,

I read through it after Mike posted the link a couple of weeks ago. I have to say its an impressive document. Obviously a lot of time, effort and money has gone into it.

It's unlikely that the Fiercely Independant States of America would ever readily adopt anything similar but, as a relocated Brit/Canuck (Go Leafs!), I wish you luck.

Perhaps, you could post a monthly update on the progress. I think many here would be interested.

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Hi,

I spoke with Bill yesterday by telephone. Somehow, I'd read the thing wrong and was under the impression that the system was going to allow grandfathering (grandparenting) of established inspectors and did not have mandatory peer review. I was wrong. Apparently, every single inspector will be required to sit a written exam as well as go through a peer review process. Wow.

That's leap years beyond what we're doing down here. The various associations here are all crowing about which has the most qualified members by pointing to various exams and entry requirements but not a single one has advocated mandatory testing of all inspectors accompanied by peer review. One has to wonder why. Could it be that if that were to happen that a significant portion of inspectors in this country would be unable to successfully complete the requirement? If so, that's just sad. After all, anyone that's been doing inspections correctly to any published standard of practice for just a few months should be able to complete such a requirement.

Could it be that such a process would prove to be an equalizer and would reveal that the claims made by each of the organizations are pretty hollow and that none of them really has any right to brag and that's why they don't support such a process?

Kudos to the Canadians for having the b***s to see what needed to be done and than working together to do something about it instead of having 25 - 30 different systems like we have down here. I think it's ironic that here we are, the country where the whole modern concept of home inspections began, and our English speaking brethren in the UK, Australia and Canada have all outdone us in terms of creating systems that provide real consumer protection.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Frankly I don't see how a Pier Review could work on a national basis without allot of government dollars being spent. It would be very costly to have a national pier review program. The associations could not handle it due to the numbers and the associated cost. It would have to be a national program to remove any association bias out of the equation. Folks are not going to review their perceived competition for free, we are seeing this is states that already have the indentured servitude home inspection laws.

Just my opinion.

I like the parallel type program that AZ has on the books, its fairly simple and it is working.

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Test Inspections with Peer Reviews (TIPR) is part of our National Certification program. I agree it is a daunting task, but we feel it is necessary to ensure that even the old-timers like me are doing inspections right. Yes, I will have to pass one.

We actually have some government money to develop the protocol and train 'reviewers' but the examination process should pay for itself.

We will train several 'reviewers' who will be very experienced inspectors. Hopefully, many will be either retired or close to retirement. We call them 'Emeritus Volunteers' although we will be paying them an honorarium. Inspectors being Peer Reviewed will pay a fee (amount still to be determined) which should offset the cost to CAHPI.

If we examine 5000 inspectors in a period of six months, that is about 200 per week. If we have a team of twenty examiners across Canada, that's only ten per week per examiner. We estimate that each examiner can process five or six people per day. Like most jobs, they don't seem so bad when you break them down into chunks.

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Please note.

This program is not mandatory, it is voluntary.

The numbers being quoted are high.

None of this has been ratified by the membership of the provincial associations which make up CAHPI.

Not everyone will want to be certified because no one knows how it will affect their business. To suggest there will be 5,000 is grossly mistating reality.

Raymond Wand

Alton, ON

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Raymond:

We have never said this was a mandatory certification, but we suspect that when inspectors recognize the benefits they will quite willingly sign up.

The numbers are based on government studies which a few years ago identified about 5000 home inspectors in Canada. They were not pulled out of thin air.

The memberhsip of every CAHPI association in Canada has ratified this in one way or another. They have all agreed to back the National Certification Project many years ago. CAHPI National also has a signed document showing buy-in by all seven associations.

It is voluntary, and if people don't want to sign up, that's their choice. Who knows how anything will afect our business? All I know is that this is a very positive step to bringing consistency and credibility to our profession in Canada.

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Those government numbers are high. I believe them to be in error.

I am sorry, the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors has not ratified anything to my knowledge. You have people serving on the CAHPI board who were appointed by the BOD of OAHI to serve. Those appointees were appointed not elected. The BOD of OAHI has no business ratifying anything without full knowledge and input of the membership. If this is not true, please point me to the documents or provide them where this has been ratified.

Also please note the article which appeared in the London Free Press was misleading and misquoted. In the published article it stated "all" inspectors would be certified by 2007. And all would be under the umbrella of CAHPI. Those statements remain uncorrected. They are very misleading.

Not everyone is going to run out and get certified, those that are students, applicants and associates within OAHI will most certainly not be running out to be certified especially given OAHI has a higher standard and is legislated as self regulating.

Without adequate numbers being certified this proram will most likely carry little weight or signifigance. And it remains to be seen how many will be certified by 2007.

Thank you.

Raymond Wand

Alton, ON

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So what if you believe the government numbers are high? Have you done a study and count as they did? What scientific method did you use that you would arrive at different figures than they did?

OAHI, just as the other associations, has agreed to the entire process. If you feel your provincial association has not consulted the members, that is between you and OAHI. It has nothing to do with CAHPI National or me.......it's an internal provincial matter.

There is nothing misleading in the Free Press article at all. You choose to interpret things whichever way will work the best for you.

Of course it remains to be seen how many will apply. I can't and won't argue with you about numbers that are unknown. I am optimistic so my numbers will be high. You on the other hand are a 'glass is half empty' type, so your estimates are very low. Our goal is to have most Canadian Inspectors certified by the end of 2007. We can't force anyone to apply, and if they choose to stay away, that's just fine. We all have a right to operate our own business however we wish. I can tell you that we already have hundreds of names of inspectors who want to be assessed, including many who are not members of CAHPI associations.

If we have 5000 National Certificate Holders that would be phenomenal. However, if there are only 1000 at the end of the day, that just means that there will be thousands of inspectors missing out on a great opportunity. It's a free country.

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Hi,

I think Mr. Mullen's point is valid. After all, for decades there were more inspectors in the U.S. than there were in ASHI, yet the perception was that if you were an ASHI member (ASHI's member designation and not candidate) you were at the top of your game. Then came the NHIE. Now, that and the NAHI CRI exams are probably the highest bar in the profession, so when folks have those behind them they are perceived by the consumer to be more qualified. Those are open to folks who aren't members of either organization and they do enhance an inspector's credibility with consumers.

With a certification process that includes a tough test on a par with the NHIE or the NAHI CRI exam, along with peer review, the bar is set even higher. At the end of the day, if a consumer is comparing qualifications and sees that a person is certified by a national association to have attained certain minimum education standards, been tested, and undergone a peer review, that person will probably be perceived by a consumer to be more competent than someone who's only passed a written test and never actually been evaluated while doing the job. To me, the program makes sense.

In other words, to use an analogy, if I were choosing an architect and I had a choice between a guy who tells me he got his license by reading a book and passing a test versus a guy who graduated from a school, served an apprenticeship, passed a stiff test and then received a peer evaluation, I'd be hiring the second guy.

If CAHPI doesn't require anyone to join their organization to be certified, and it's open to everyone, regardless of professional affiliation, I can't see how it would hurt anyone. I should think it would enhance them professionally and score them higher with consumers.

Is there something I'm missing here? If this program can be accomplished, how is it going to hurt anyone's business who becomes certified? Seems like it would only hurt those who're asked the question by the customer, "Are you certified?" and they are unable to truthfully answer "Yes."

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Sorry I have to disagree. And it appears you cannot provide the documentation to back up the fact this has not been ratified. I am still waiting for the documents to provide that the government is correct. That is less than democratic and perhaps you should not shrug off that fact as you too are a member. Of course OAHI does not follow the by-laws now so why should they start this late in the game?

The London Free Press is factually incorrect. If you cannot agree that it is that is unfortunate. It remains uncorrected and I have sent a letter for clarification to the Minister responsible for this program to seek clarification.

Further anyone in OAHI which makes up the lions share who is not an RHI will most likely not run out and get certified because the certification has less meaning than RHI. Without other members from Nachi, and ASHI and other non aligned members in Canada it boils down to numbers.

To state that 5,000 members repeatedly will be certified and that it will all be done by 2007 is a pipe dream.

This appears to be another body plying another irrelevent meaningless certification on inspectors who already meet the standard in Oahi because they already have their Registered Home Inspector (RHI) designation. This is home inspectors overseeing home inspectors again, self regulation reincarnated. Self regulation has not worked for OAHI in over 10 years and for anyone to think CAHPI will be is questionable.

CAHPI has no capacity to discipline anyone, it has to send the complaint back to the provincial association for (i.e. OAHI) for action. If one does not have to be a member of CAHPI to become certified how does CAHPI plan on enforcing the ethics and the SOP, and other measures CAHPI imposes. It would mean non aligned inspectors would be responsible to no one.

I just wish that the info was consistent and objective.

None of this is carved in stone and none of it has been ratified by the members at large of CAHPI-Ontario. At this point it is a model to be adopted.

Raymond Wand

Alton, ON

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For the record, here is how the article was printed in the London Free Press. Unedited and in full. I can read just as anyone else, and it says what it says.

Sarnia man heads inspectors

A Sarnia home inspector has been named to head a national program which will certify home inspectors.

Bill Mullen, owner of Bluewater Home Inspection, has been a professional home and property inspector in Sarnia for 13 years and has held several positions on the boards of both the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) and its national counterpart, the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI).

Mullen will oversee the implementation phase of the national certification program for Canadian home inspectors, which will be put in place after eight years of work and $2 million, to educate, assess and certify about 5,000 home inspectors in the country under the umbrella of CAHPI.

Mullen will direct the certification process of individual practitioners and the accreditation of educational institutions involved in training. All practitioners in Canada will be certified by the end of 2007.

The program is a joint project involving Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation, Human Resource and Skills Development Canada, the federal ministry of housing, and CAHPI.

Raymond Wand

Alton, ON

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Ontario Press Council

http://www.ontpress.com/about/index.asp

A newspaper publishing an unsolicited opinion article should go beyond simply determining that it is not libellous; it should he prepared to accept responsibility jointly with the author for factual errors.

Raymond Wand

Alton, ON

--

The value of experience is not in seeing much,

but in seeing wisely. - Sir William Osler 1905

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